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2016-17 WRESTLING PREVIEW: Team-by-team capsules
FCN WR PREVIEW 1 110916 web


Coach: Jeremiah Walker, fourth season.

Key returners: Parker Evans, Sr., 126; Hunter Kurowski, Sr., 132; Sebastian Legarra, Sr. 220; Abraham Perez, Soph., 113; Keaton Platzke, Soph. 182.

Key newcomers: Noah Schreiber, Fr., 152.

Outlook: For the first time in Walker’s tenure, he expects to fill a complete lineup with experienced wrestlers. That’s because the Bulldogs graduated no seniors off last season’s team. Perez leads the group after placing fifth at 106 in Class 5A last season, while Kurowski and Legarra are returning state qualifiers. It remains to be seen how well Central will make the transition to Class 7A, but if dual victories against Lambert and South Forsyth last season are any clue, the Bulldogs should be optimistic.


Coach: Kevin Contardi, eighth season.

Key returners: Eric Kohlins, Sr., 182; Payton Mitchell, Jr., 120; Daniel Morin, Sr., 152; Ethan Young, Sr., 195.

Key newcomers: Cole Burke, Jr., 160; Alex Dobleman, Sr. 132; Will Kohlins, Jr., 182.

Outlook: The Longhorns are coming off arguably their best season in school history:  a top 6 finish at the traditional state tournament, a top 4 finish at state duals and the program’s first-ever individual state champion in Matthew Sheetz. Sheetz graduated, but Lambert returns state placers Kohlins (2nd, 182) and Mitchell (3rd, 106) and state qualifiers Morin and Young. Around the strong nucleus, Contardi hopes the likes of Burke, Dobleman and Kohlins can step into more prominent roles and get young contributors to fill in around them.


Coach: Travis Jarrard, 17th season.

Key returners: Conner Carroll, Jr., 160/170; Spencer Dooley, Sr., 132; Bradley Thomas, Sr., 152/160; Paul Watkins, Soph., 120/126.

Key newcomers: Tate Bissell, Fr., 126; Samuel Ridings, Soph., 220; Andrew Sexton, Fr., 152; Bryce Touchstone, Fr., 113; Ryan Zink, Fr., 160.

Outlook: No mystery about the Raiders entering this season – after finishing runner-up to Archer at the state duals and state traditional, and returning 12 of 14 starters, North will be among the two or three teams expected to win a state title in Class 7A (add Camden County and Mountain View in the mix). North has returning state placers in Carroll, Thomas and Watkins and returning state qualifiers in Walid Abdullahi, Connor Cross, Spencer Dooley, Nathan Grimes, Andrew Leggett, Brantley Little, Cole Tenety and Riley Wheeler.


Coach:  Josh Stephen, first season.

Key returners: Jackson Baraff, Sr., 138/145; Steven Brauckman, Soph., 106/113; Arvin Khedmati, Sr., 170; Ian Hunt, Jr., 195; Trevor Patrick, Soph., 220; Charlie Ranta, Jr., 138/145; Sam Ranta, Sr., 126/132.

Key newcomers: Joey Burke, Sr., 160; Parker Disraeli, Soph., 126; Mitchell Frankel, Sr., 182; AJ Riner, Fr., 106; Trevor Smith, 152.

Outlook: The War Eagles’ program figures to begin a metamorphosis under first-year head coach Josh Stephen, who helped lead Collins Hill to prominence when it won five straight traditional state championships (2008-12) and four straight dual state championships (2009-11). He has a veteran group to work with in Baraff, Hunt and the Ranta brothers, and so the goals are to reach state duals and fill up the podium at state traditional. “I have high expectations for this team,” Stephen said.


Coach: Steve Stromie, sixth season.

Key returners: Tyler Bunten, Sr., 160; Hunter Jolly, Sr., 285; Jack Woodall, Jr., 145.

Key newcomers: Cam Westray, Fr., 106.

Outlook: As far as roster complexion goes, this season will be one of transition for the Wolverines after graduating nine seniors. Only three wrestlers return who have wrestled between 20-25 varsity matches, so West’s youngest wrestlers will need to grow up quickly. Stromie is pleased with the leadership his team’s youngest wrestlers have been getting from Bunten and Woodall. The biggest storyline for West might be Jolly, who should be supremely motivated after going into last season’s traditional state tournament as the No. 1 overall seed at 285 but failing to place.